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  1. 7 points
    I know I am on the outside looking in on this one: This Jew Scouter has sat through so many "Interfaith" ceremonies that are 99% Christian and include divisive proverbs and songs grows tired of explaining to my son about that is their religion and he should learn to just be respectful and not interfere. When we practice our religion we do not get the same respect that we give others, that is just the way it is. Living in the bible belt is an interesting experience for Jews. People here have hard times being respectful to other forms of Christianity, let alone Jews, Muslims, Mormons(Yes I know this is a form of Christianity) ... I compare it to the "White Privilege" movements in many ways. Being outside the norm has it's own challenges. Respect for religion outside that is hard to understand for people in the group. I can't count high enough to the number of prayers at scout events that end with "In Jesus Christ's name we pray"...... Kinda like a big insult to anyone who isn't a believer in Christianity. People could say a prayer to god but nope, they immediately go to the more specific level. So when people get upset about Atheists, than with people that want to for him to be their religion. A relationship with god is a personal one and should be left that way.
  2. 6 points
    I've been re-reading a history book, created over 15 years ago, outlining the rich background of Scouting in my area. In one particular chapter, the author highlights some pretty cool things that took place during the "Improved Scouting" years, despite the changes that the National Council, BSA introduced in 1972. Dedicated Scouters gave countless hours to mentor, guide, and teach countless young people how to navigate the world and society. This is exactly what each of us is still doing today! I think the general malaise I feel from reading some posts on this Forum is due, in large part, to the attitude that things aren't as good as they used to be. Well, no, some things are definitely different. However, some things are just the same and will be for many, many years. The Movement of Scouting will carry on even if the organization of Scouting stumbles from time to time. Our future as a Scouting Movement is as bright as we'll allow it to be. I look at my two-year-old son and see a future Scout just bursting with energy. He's already tramping the woods, picking up pinecones, marveling at the trees, and asking Daddy to help him light fires. He'd even gladly accept a pocketknife if I gave him one. 😉 The other day we stopped into a Scout Shop while traveling so Daddy could pick up some CSPs from the area, and my little one proudly told the Shop staffers "A...be a Scout!" It brought a tear to my eye. I realize controversy invites loads of dialogue and emotions run hot on different sides of the issue at hand. What I yearn for on this forum and in discussions with my fellow Scouters is talk of fires, pocketknives, OA adventures, camping, Merit Badge Counselor success stories, etc. So I challenge each of you to give the Issues and Politics forum a break for ONE DAY and come back to one of the other sub-fora, writing about some successes you've had recently and focusing on the bright future of Scouting.
  3. 6 points
    I was asked to teach a few classes again at our district trainging acadamy but this time the wanted me to add a class that was totally differen to anything they had in the past and would inspire more scouters to take the training. I decided that I would teach my usual Scout Led Troop and Hammocking classes but add a class that details our way of doing our annual planning. After teaching this class I was asked to spread the word on this as it may help other troops that in a camping rut. Some history: The first step was admitting that we camped at the same places, had low turn out and adults didmost of the planning. As a naive first month SM I assumed the scouts knew what they like to do outdoors and and what they wanted to do next year. I asked each scout, got lots of shoulder shrugs and from the older scouts I got "do the same thing as last year" although older scouts didnt camp last year. Solution: Find out what scouts do in our area. I spent about 60+ hours looking at every troop site calendar and photos jotting down every campsite or camping theme,also looked at OA and district lists. I compiled a list down to 50 or so ideas that the scouts could use for planning. I showed the scouts the list but was mostly ignored. It was then I decided to change how we did our planning. I agreed with the CC that we would do a 2 year trial to make camping more fun, get more scouts to attend and give more power to the scouts. FIrst change was to declare that each scout would present at least 1 idea to the troop during our planning campout. I would provide the list of 50 campout ideas that they could choose from but they would have to do work to make the idea into a presentation. Rules - Choose an idea from my list, choose an idea from my list and modify it, bring your own idea. All presentations must have the following: Where will the camp out be - What exact campground and site # if car camping What will we do there? What advancement opportunities are possible What will it cost for this campout? What month(s) of the year should we go? Why is this fun, why do this? The expectation is 2 or 3 slides 5 minutes. The first year we did this the older scouts hated it and fought the process - but the rest of the scouts came up with great ideas, many modifications of the ideas provided and during the presentations there was good discussion of what is fun and what is not between the scouts. We voted as a troop for each month - what outing would be best. The scouts that had their presentation/camping idea chosen won a prize and they would be used to create the agenda for that campout with the PLC when the time came. Sometimes 2 ideas were merged to make it even better Once they vote on a campout its easy for the adults to take what the scouts have already planned and reserve the campsite, cabin or whatever else needed. We usually have everything reserved by the end of the week and distribute the yearly plan to parents. Results: Scouts are happy that they get a say in what is possible, the discussions about what would be fun happen and are long and boisterous, scouts come to me all of the time with new ideas to add to the list. We went from 10% participation to 75% participation camping in the last 3 years. Adults do the back office stuff while scouts became much bigger stakeholders in what they do each month. I hope this helps someone. I know we all do this different and the BSA assumes this is done by the PLC but we needed to make the change to help us survive as a troop.
  4. 5 points
    While there is more to the OA than ceremonies and camp maintenance, these two items are the heart and soul of the OA. The original purpose was to recognize HONOR CAMPERS (emphasis) and not be just an honor society. Arrowman are charged with promoting camping and maintaining council camps. Service is the heart of the OA. When National changed the OA from National Brotherhood of Honor Campers" to the "National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America " in 1995 or thereabouts, the OA lost some of it's heart. The Native American based ceremonies were created to inspire and motivate potential members and Arrowmen. The ceremonies created a unique experience to get the Order's purpose instilled in them. These ceremonies were the soul of the OA. I still remember my first experience with the OA: my Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremonies. And while some memories of my Ordeal Ceremony are hazy due to exhaustion at the time and other Ordeal Ceremonies I attended as a "Friend" to candidates, I do remember being inspired to continue my journey in Scouting and the Order. I remember as a ceremonialist the looks of those Scouts' faces and seeing them proud, inspired, and motivated. One of the ways I would reinvigorate OA chapters, or even start a new chapter, was the creation of ceremony teams to inspire and motivate others. And it worked. THAT IS BECAUSE THE CEREMONIES ARE THE SOUL OF THE ORDER. ( emphasis) When the 63 ADULTS (emphasis) on the national OA committee would not listen to the overwhelming majority of it youth members voices, and stated no more Native American regalia for Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremonies, the soul of the OA was greatly diminished. And I predict that soon, the OA 's soul will be completely dead as the ceremonies will be changed to remove any Native American influence.
  5. 5 points
    Parkman, good question. Camping was the very thing that made the OA special. It used to be called the "National Brotherhood of Honor Campers." Only the best scouts who excelled in the outdoors were elected. Ordeals were tough. Big emphasis on Native American history, heritage and respect. Staffing camporees. Performing the most difficult manual labor in the council. I can't recall when, but it was the late 80s/early 90s when it was changed to the "national honor society" of the BSA. Among other things, the outdoor element was very much de-emphasized. It's been a grim downward slide ever since.
  6. 4 points
    Option B, and it shouldn't be a "last resort"; it should be first step of next infraction. I understand not wanting to punish their kids, but in your efforts to keep these 2 Scouts from the problem families, the troop has lost more Scouts & Scouters. Allowing them to remain is going to kill your Troop...or any semblance of a youth-led patrol method Troop. Lay out the new rules for the parents, explain the rationale, and the consequences. Tell the problem parents that they have used up all their strikes; next offense and they will be shown the door.
  7. 4 points
    Never at any point have I disagreed with you, nor with anything you say. I never said atheists don't have a moral compass. I would never believe that being religious gives one moral superiority. You are confronting the wrong issue. My point was not about morality. It was not about right and wrong. It is about Scouting, and religion being a part of it. Scouting is NOT morality. It is a program designed to help build character in young people. It is a program that uses many different methods to accomplish this. Outdoor programs. Uniforms. Patrols. And yes, doing one's religious duty - implying that one must have a religion to make it work. If you choose not to believe in God, that is your choice, and nobody is in any position to judge you for that. However, Scouting is a program that incorporates and supports religious beliefs in its methods. If you don't like that, then find a program that better fits your beliefs (or lack thereof). But Scouting DOES inherently promulgate the importance of faith, and that is a core tenet of its constitution. I don't know much about Scouts Canada, nor Scouts UK. But if they have rejected one's duty to God entirely, then no, I don't believe they are "real" Scouting, or certainly not the Scouting program that Baden-Powell was inspired to create anyway. One of the core, original purposes of Scouting was to support religious faith in young men. It gave the program power and meaning. Take it away and Scouting loses a part of its soul. NOTE: this does NOT imply that other programs which do NOT stress religion are bad. It does NOT mean that Scouting is 'better' because it is inherently religious. It does NOT mean we claim that morals cannot be taught without faith. It does NOT mean we feel God would "smite" those who think differently. Those are your conclusions, but not our beliefs. To slap religionists in the face because you feel their ideas are misguided is EXACTLY the thing you seem to despise, so be careful. Compassion and understanding are essential to true moral uprightness, and your son will learn from your example and treatment of others as much as from your teachings. Scouting teaches that in part through religion. You have other methods. That's wonderful, but just because you have chosen to do so without God does not give you the right to insist that Scouting do the same. It's in the program. If you don't like it, find another program and leave this one alone.
  8. 4 points
    First of all, I think it strange and perhaps somewhat insensitive to group atheists and Jehovah's Witness together; they are as utterly different in their beliefs (or lack thereof) as any two groups can be. Secondly, Duty to God is an integral, inherent part of Scouting - if you remove that element of its composition, in my book, it will cease to be Scouting, regardless of what organization (even the BSA if it comes to that) may claim to be running it. The Scouting program and its methods, as created by Baden-Powell and build up by the likes of Seton, Beard and Hillcourt, is a religious program, yet at the same time absolutely non-denominational. That's one of the wonders of its foundation, and it has worked beautifully for generations. But remove that central core of duty to God, and ... well, in my book, it's no longer Scouting, and it's no longer going to work. That's not being judgemental - that's integrity. But upholding a standard of membership is not discourteous. If you are looking for a totally non-religious organization to take you camping and teach you life-skills, Scouting isn't for you - but there are many other good and supportive organizations who can help. Look for one that already suits you rather than change the one that suits somebody else.
  9. 4 points
    Last weekend, as I spoke at the memorial service for a very influential Scouter from my teenage years, I was overcome with emotion, not just from the memories of a loved one taken at a young age. Unbeknownst to me, 3/4 of the attendees were Scouters and I was the only one wearing my uniform. I wore it because I think about my Scoutmaster and his late wife each time I put on my shirt. Underneath my shirt I wore a special t-shirt I received while working on staff of a district camporee in 1994. As I was sharing a second story with the assembled crowd, I unbuttoned my uniform shirt to show off that very same t-shirt I had received 24 years ago. You should have see the faces light up! I was immediately overcome with cries of "I have that shirt, too!" and "I can't believe that was so long ago!" I wear that shirt at least once a week and have done so since 1994; it's a wonder it's not full of holes by now! Those Scouters had an indirect impact on my youth experience though I don't recall ever meeting them. I know they helped shape that same camporee in 1994 and trained the volunteers who mentored me throughout my youth experience in the Cataouatche District of the New Orleans Area Council. The stories we all shared last weekend illustrate the lasting impact Scouting has on so many young people. Scouting is so much more than an organization; it's a way of life. I truly can't see the Boy Scouts of America going away. Sure, there may be some changes along the way, but I doubt we'll see the BSA fold. Scouting is woven into the fabric of so many lives.
  10. 3 points
    Chief - one way we solved this was by having the PL write the duty roster a week before the campout, SM or SPL signs off on it then PL runs the duty roster back through his patrol and asks for objections, Everyone inthe patrol must agree the roster is fair before they go on the trip. Once you are on the trip there is no more debate or argument - Snowflake had thier chance to dispute before they left.
  11. 3 points
    Try https://www.atheistalliance.org/about-atheism/can-atheists-moral/ https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/ethics-without-gods/ https://www.thoughtco.com/atheists-have-no-basis-for-morality-248301 I'll just add this: Can there be moral absolutes if there is no Giver of moral law in the first place? Since people don't agree on what gods exist or even (if they agree on the same god) exactly what that god wants, "god-based" morals are also, essentially, subjective, because the god you end up following is a subjective decision. And it's even worse, because so many people think they end up with objective morals, and they get at loggerheads with other people with different, objective morals. The phrase "different, objective morals" is, of course, impossible if both of you really have objective morals, so this is a big hint that at least one of you is wrong.
  12. 3 points
    This by far the most reasoned and well thought out response I have seen concerning this topic. If everyone felt the same and acted accordingly, this would not be such a contentious topic.
  13. 3 points
    Gotcha. What I think hangs up many, and to be honest myself included, is why we presume the program needs to stop being a character development program and turn into an after school outdoor program if we provide a path for youth who don't believe in God? From replies in this topic, it seems that for many units, faith and religion is already limited to grace before meals and a handful of requirements along the way. So, say we allow some Scouts into the program who don't believe in god. Does that really have to mean we stop being a character development program? Maybe put a little different. For some scouts we go from "develop good character because it's was God wants" to "develop good character because it's the right thing to do." Does that really mean our program is now radically different?
  14. 3 points
    According to the Boy Scout Handbook, "A Scout is helpful. . . . Scouts want the best for everyone and act to make that happen." How can we justify excluding anyone from the Scouting program if it would be good for them? If we want the best for everyone, doesn't that naturally include membership in Scouting? Isn't the point of being helpful to focus on the needs of others rather than just our own comfort? According to the Boy Scout Handbook, "A Scout is friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. . . . He offers his friendship to people of all races, religions, and nations, and he respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own. . . . Friends are also able to celebrate their differences, realizing that real friends can respect the ideas, interests, and talents that make each person special." When we turn people away from our program because their beliefs are different from our own, are we living up to this point of the Scout Law? According to the Boy Scout Handbook, doing my duty to my country, as stated in the Scout Oath, means: "Help the United States continue to be a strong and fair nation by learning about our system of government and your responsibilities as a citizen." When we systematically exclude people from our program because of their religious beliefs, are we helping the United States to be "a strong and fair nation"? Is isolating ourselves from people with different opinions one of our responsibilities as a citizen of the United States? Even if we have the right, as a private organization, to exclude people who don't share one of our ideals, is voluntarily exercising that right consistent with the other ideals, purposes, goals, and duties we profess as members of the Scouting program?
  15. 3 points
    I suspect this issue won't get the same support for change as other recent ones. It certainly won't from me, and I supported the changes to allow gay scouts, transgender scouts, and girls. I know there are many in my Pack who feel the same, having supported the previous changes but not willing to budge on the faith component. Personally I don't see the issues as the same. I believe people can choose faith, but not gender or sexual orientation. And I include transgenderism in that, I don't think it's a choice, and sometimes what's between the ears and what's between the legs aren't aligned in the traditional sense. So I wouldn't kick a kid out for something that they can't choose to be differently. I also don't think the BSA religious requirements are all that much of a burden. Just believe in something bigger than yourself. That's it. Specifics don't really matter, to fulfill the requirement just believe in something. There is something deeply spiritual about Scouting, even without explicitly saying it. I had spiritual moments as a Boy Scout that were not part of any effort to be reverent. I remember being out at Resica Falls, sitting out in the woods alone quietly observing my surroundings (something to do with Envi Sci, not sure if that requirement is still in there), and there was a very real sense of something spiritual in that. I had found a comfortable boulder to perch on, lay back and stare up into the trees, listening to the sounds around me. It wasn't just nature. Maybe it was the combination of being in a Scouting environment, being a recent OA inductee, and being someone who believes in God, it all combined into something that felt like a lot more than just observing nature in the scientific sense. And it was an experience that obviously made a lasting impact on me. It was something that I think would be very different in a setting that stripped out any sense of spirituality. Not to say it couldn't happen, but I'm glad it happened the way that it did, and I'm glad that we still strive to keep spirituality in the mix. We're not just a camping club, and this is something that ensures we remain more than just a camping club.
  16. 3 points
    I agree. I have been tolerant of the past couple of decision, I 100% with the addition of girls but if we were to take away the religious element I believe I would hang it up for good.
  17. 3 points
    You folks all hit some good marks, and my observations from the past 5 years being back in Scouting with my son generally fall in line with your perceptions. I also began to really talk to “older scouts” (as well those who were 18+ that still came around the Lodge events. Personally, yes National got very skittish on “the secret society” concerns, and the directive today on Ordeal is basically if the candidate shows up, and stays through the induction ceremony, that is all that is required. You can’t make them do the challenges, and anyone who wants to know all what goes on during the weekend (parent), you can’t ignore their request. The cub ceremonies are a loss, but in my own view, they were not doing much to actually motivate youth getting guns ho on being outdoorsman in recent years. Arguably, the new scripts are an attempt by National to get scouts interested in high adventure, though in a very cornball way that I don’t see will be impactful. Overall, I just see less and less interest by scouts to do high adventure. Even just weekend canoe or backcountry backpacking weekends are a struggle to get them interested. Couple with the number of adult leaders that have zero interest, and it is not a good recipe. My honest suggestion to our Lodge/Section youth leaders has been to rethink their model. Having a “fellowship weekend” once or twice a year, where board games, Magic card games, movies and and flashlight tag at the council camp is a huge opportunity wasted. You aren’t going to get the 14+ year old Paul Bunyan type Scouts to waste their time (or money) on it. Plan a weekend that involves going out and doing something that requires using scoutcraft skills might just get the scout who is bored with his troops’ car camping, adult planned weekends to come and be with other scouts from other units that are in the same boat. Let OA be an avenue for delivering scouting in a way that many troops are lacking. It may not draw back the scouts or troops that have drawn themselves away from council camporees/Klondike derby, etc. (IMO many of those units withdrew because they didn’t see those events giving their scouts a challenge), but it gives the OA the opportunity to be special to the scouts who want to be involved in something that is more mature, without just harping the $1,000+ high adventure base opportunities or NOAC.
  18. 3 points
    With the upcoming Holiday Season, I thought I would take this opportunity (while it’s still allowed – and you can take that any way you’d like) to post a Lënape version of Clement Moore’s most well known work – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This version is done in the Northern Unami dialect - this is the one the OA borrowed all its nomenclature from. The left side is the Lenape, the right side the literal translation to English. This was translated by one of my Lenape language contacts, Ray Whritenour (a/k/a/ Schkaak). Mr. Whritenour is one of the foremost authorities on Northern Unami. As a linguist myself, I would like to just point out the phenomenal difficulty in translating verse from one language to another – yes, with great difficulty it can be done, but to also get it to rhyme in the target language requires true mastery of the language. Notice the names of the reindeer - they are literally translated: Prancer = "Fancy Walker", Vixen = "Fox", Comet = "Star", Cupid = "Little Archer," Donner and Blitzen = "Thunder and Lightning". There is a link at the bottom of the poem. If you copy it into your browser, it should open up a sound file where you can hear Mr. Whritenour recite the poem. AS far as he knows, this is the longest piece of recorded Northern Unami ever done (beats my translations of simple meals graces by a mile). Enjoy…… GESCHIECHSIT NICOLAUS KIWIKEU {SAINT NICHOLAS HE-VISITS} Celischmassinkpanne allamigawan {when-it-was-Christmas inside-the-house} ta auween ktschukquiwi nachpene poques {not a-person he-does-not-move even a-mouse} kakunall hattepannil wscheyiskte {stockings they-were-there by-the-fire} eli geschiechsit Nick pecho a pat {for Saint Nick soon would he-come} amemensak chansonink achpopannik {children in-bed they-were-there} kendisall wuntschi laschimuinewo {candies of-they they-dream} wikimak woak ni ndachansonunanink {my-wife and I in-our-bed} nschengiechineen wentschi a gauwijenk {we-lie-down so-that could we-sleep} auwijewi quatschemunk ganschhittaquot {however outside there-is-a-terrible-noise} lachpi ndamui nemen elekup {quickly I-arise to-see-it what-happened} eheschandekink ngeschamehhella {to-the-window I-run-fast} nanne ndauwunna woak nemen elek {then I-open-it and I-see-it what-it-is} nipahwi gischuch nentsitasu kunink {of-night the-luminary he-appears on-the-snow} woaselenemen elemamek hakink {to-illuminate-it all-over on-the-ground} enda kschiechi nentsitawichtit neschgink {when clearly they-appear-to-me in-my-eyes} tangtatask woak chaasch achtschuhuwunschak {a-little-sled and eight little-deer} tataskwunk mihillusis allumskuseu {in-the-sled an-old-man he-drives} schawi nennawa geschiechsit Nicolaus {immediately I-recognize-him Saint Nicholas} taat woapalannewak lachpi pepannik {like bald-eagles quickly they-come} woak schipuweu woak wuntschimawall lueu {and he-whistles and he-summons-them he-says} "Keschihillat! Kendkat! Wilawochweet! Woakus!" {“Dasher! Dancer! Fancy-Walker! Fox!" "Alank! Teengpommwet! Pedhakquonk! Sapiak!" {“Star! Little-Archer! Thunder! Lightning!} “awossenachke li wochgitaque li" {“over-the-fence to on-top-of-the-house to"} “kschihillak! kschihillak! kschihillak! wemi!" {“go-quickly! go-quickly! go-quickly! all!"} taat combachkwall talli wawujallachsu {like leaves in a-whirlwind} pommihillewall li pemmapannik {they-fly toward the-sky} nanne wochgitaque nawahhellewak {then on-top-of-the-house they-alight} witschi cheli pechpapitonk woak Nick. {with many a-toy and Nick.} nanne spanquewoaganink mbendawanep {then in-the-wink-of-an-eye I-heard-them} amangitinkhattachgihhillepannik {they-were-stomping-hard} nachk ngettenemenep woak ngwelpihilla {my-hand I-pulled-it-away and I-turn-around} ehelinguatekink Nicolaus niechiu {in-the-chimney-pipe Nicholas he-comes-down} miechhekenink pegiu wil li w’sit {in-fur he-is-dressed his-head to his-foot} equit niskewall untschi wipelachteu {his-clothes they-are-dirty from chimney-soot} wiwasch wunajundamen menotesink {a-bundle he-bears-on-his-back in-a-sack} linaxu pepamchit enda tauwunnenk {he-looks-like a-trader when he-opens-it} wuschgink waseleu woak k’lakelendam {his-eye it-is-bright and he-is-merry} wonanno woak w'hickiwon machkewall {his-cheek and his-nose they-are-red} spwetonechin taat gechpilgussowoagan {he-has-his-lips-pursed like a-knot} wittoney woapsu taat kuhn woapelechin {his-beard it-is-white like snow it-is-white-and-shiny} hopoakan wipitink w’tschitaninin {a-pipe in-his-teeth he-holds-it-tightly} queschhattek wuntschi wikhen woakawi wil {smoke from-he builds-a-house around his-head} neka chinktelinqueu woak machaskutscheu {he he-has-a-large-face and he-is-big-bellied} ktschukquihilleu enda kekeleksit {he-shakes when he-laughs} manittotit wisu woak wingelendam {a-little-spirit he-is-fat and he-is-happy} woak ngekeleksihump enda newake {and I-laughed when when-I-see-him} nanne mboakinquehelluk woak gluphokqueu {then he-winks-at-me and he-turns-his-head} metschimi woatellit ta wischasiwun {soon he-makes-it-known-to-me not to-not-fear} ta w’teliechsiwi schuk mikemossu {not he-does-not-speak but he-works} otschuwiechtonall kakunall nanne eu {he-fills-them the-stockings then he-goes} lohikan w’taton w’hikiwonink {an-index-finger he-places-it on-his-nose} tatandachgokwehelleu na allumsu {he-nods-his-head then he-goes-away} tatask pusu w’schipuwe achtuhwunk {the-sled he-boards he-whistles to-the-deer} palli kendhuwak taat wochganim nimchok {away they-fly like seed which-wind-blows-away} amangiechsu eli echquineichgussit {he-shouts as he-disappears “meli Celischmass! wawullamallessik!" {“Merry Christmas! Fare-ye-well-always!"} https://www.dropbox.com/s/gesd0z1ymucpe … 1.WAV?dl=0
  19. 3 points
    The main reason I am involved in the scouting program is the values taught within the scouting program which I see as falling inline with my own religious beliefs. Within the scouting program I do not hide my religious beliefs but I also do not push them onto anyone else that is a member of the scouting movement. If a scout asks me about my beliefs I will share my beliefs with them, then let them make there own decision.
  20. 3 points
    I see BSA and scouting at approaching the same cross roads the YMCA crossed. Faith versus community. When I was young, our local YMCA had a big cross at the entrance and crosses in meeting rooms and other significant places. The YMCA was very very much a Christ based organization with strong ties to local churches. Now, the crosses and ties to local churches are all but gone. Still in the title, but the rest is mostly gone. Most customers of the YMCA saw the YMCA as a local organization for exercise and community. It was created and supported by the churches for much of it's life, but the customers shifted to viewing it as a community organization and not a faith organization. Hospitals and school systems went through this too. Our hospitals started as Catholic or protestant extensions to serve the community. Now, most still have the name and often a cross, but the nuns and most of the religious aspects are gone. BSA is at the cross roads now. Most customers see BSA as far more a community and civic organization. Customers with religious values see BSA as compatible with their faith, but not a key faith building tool. Likewise, most charter orgs view their BSA support as a part of their supporting the community. Very few view it as a key part of faith development and even fewer have a "youth pastor" or similar running the troop. Most view BSA as teaching outdoors, leadership, civics or just helping kids man-up. Few really view it as a deep faith program. I pray BSA never loses the key tenants of "Duty to God"... , but I do believe the program should be truly open to all. Too often we teach our scouts how to skirt the faith issue. I think that's a poor civics lesson and a poor character trait. I'd rather BSA have strong elements of faith; being a very visible aspect of scouting. BUT, let's support those of no faith and teach each other how to respect each other.
  21. 3 points
    I can't speak for Canada but in the UK the position is that atheists are entirely welcome. There is an atheist version of the promise but it is just one of 4 different versions which reflect different religious beliefs. You can read them all here. That does not mean duty to God has been dropped entirely. Exploration of your own beliefs is still part of the program but they do not have to be religious. I don't know what other groups are like but probably around 60-70% of my new scouts choose one the of the faith based version of the promise with 30-40% making the no faith version
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    Really??!?!? Are you serious? If they changed the Boy Scout book to add some pictures of girls and changed some pronouns you would have went nuts claiming they “changed the program”. They are adding a girls book with picture of girls and adding “she” instead of “he”. They did this in a separate book so they don’t upset the existing boys and their leaders... and that is now an issue? WOW! Perhaps we need to add trigger warnings to any BSA announcements going forward so existing leaders can go to their safe spaces prior to hearing such things like there is a scouts BSA book with pictures of girls or uniform pants that come out and are sized for girls. Oh, the humanity! 😀 There is a lot to complain about but having a separate book (as long as gender is the only delta) makes sense given how they are introducing the program as non coed.
  24. 2 points
    "Okay gang, here is the duty roster. We will be at the Muddy Creek campground next weekend, and you all know what that means. Hauling in the gear, water faucet is aways to carry, campstove is HERE (show map).. Everyone pick a job (pass the roster around). If you are on the campout, ya gotta take a job. "A Scout is Trustworthy", we all do a bit, it all gets done. Jake, are you coming with your G'dad? He camps with the adults, right? You want to cook or clean up? No, you don't get served personally, EVERYBODY pulls his weight in this Patrol. Don't forget the Patrol Pitch ! We can win the movie tickets if we keep our campsite looking good. … "
  25. 2 points
    As a ASM, I never sign my sons requirements, unless it was in a group setting. We have enough ASMs at meetings to send our kids to each other instead. For most our dads, its because we would be harder on our own son then another scout. I know that's not right, but it happens that way.
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